My neurosurgeon said that I should swim for three times a week for the rest of my life. Thank goodness I didn't have to have surgery (I wrote about that in another post) but he said I would have to look after my back very well all of my life.
So from that day I visited the swimming pool three times a week. Sometimes it was hard when you are in pain, getting there, getting changed, a slippery poolside etc but the relief when I got in the water was wonderful!
I did not swim. I walked in the water, I floated on my back and I hung over the side getting a wonderful stretch that felt so good. I did my exercises in the water, I did get a few looks at first but they soon got used to me and I did not care! Anything to help my backpain and sciatica...and it did. I loved it :)
So I did well. As time went on and especially in the winter when it was freezing cold i lapsed a bit and after a few weeks of only going once a week i noticed the difference in my flexibility, my posture. Generally I was doing a good job though .
Then I got a major painful, awful skin allergy that put pay to me doing ay exercise at all let alone swimming! My arms and chest and neck were covered in blisters and welts and damaged skin. I could barely move and was in a lot of pain and discomfort all the time, sore and itching.Turned out after a year of no diagnosis that I was allergic to the suncream I had been using to protect my skin! Sadly it was found i was also allergic to many preservatives and other chemicals and perfumes and I certainly could not go swimming again in a pool with chlorine.
It took me 18 months to recover to the point where i can exercise again and my back had paid the price so I was getting pain again but i resumed my specific back exercises and started to think what can I do to exercise my whole body.
I found Pilates! I started VERY gently, only doing one exercise then waiting to see then introducing another and another and now have built up a full repatoire of the basic exercises. It seemed to balance my body,making the muscles stronger and longer, working both sides in harmony. I am increasing my strength and my flexibility at the same time.
My back is feeling better again and my posture has improved again. I invested in a Pilates machine at home so that I could do it every day when I felt like it and although it was expensive it has worked out well as I gave up the gym membership and now Hubby does Pilates too so it will pay for itself in about a year or less. So I am glad to have found a long term exercise that I enjoy and that can help my back as well as the rest of me !
I do love my Pilates Reformer Machine and would not want to be without it. However, I do appreciate it is a big investment if you are unsure you want to do Pilates. Even weekly classes may be too much cash and time. So if you are curious about Pilates and do not want to spend much money take a look at this Free Pilates DVD to get you started.
Do you find any exercise that helps?
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Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies.
For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-
7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
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